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Enemy Intel: Who Are The Tennessee Titans?

Kevin Brady



Who Are The Tennessee Titans?

The Dallas Cowboys and Tennessee Titans really couldn't be much more irrelevant to one another throughout NFL history. Playing just once every for years (and obviously never meeting in a Super Bowl) it's rare that this match-up means much to either team.

Being this is the case, it's understandable that most Cowboys fans probably haven't paid much attention to the Titans this season. So, let's take a look at what the Titans have done this season to get a better understanding of who they are, and who the Cowboys will be facing on Monday night this week.

Spider-Man Meme Offense

To be honest, the more I watch this Titans offense, the more I realize how similar they appear to be to the Cowboys. Like Dallas, Tennessee has placed an increased emphasis on developing a "hard-nosed," run first identity on offense. They've invested valued assets into their offensive line, drafted Derrick Henry in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft, and brought in running back Dion Lewis this offseason.

Plus, their quarterback Marcus Mariota presents a stellar run threat both as a scrambler and on designed run reads. The thing is, as bad as the Cowboys offense has been this year, Tennessee has actually been worse.

The Titans are 28th in offensive DVOA and bottom five in sack percentage at 11.2%. That sack percentage number is up from just 5% last season (!) though the outlier game against the Ravens certainly plays a hand here.

Marcus Mariota hasn't been the only problem, but his passing statistics suggest he hasn't been the solution either. Mariota has thrown for just 3 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, and has been sacked 19 times. On the plus side, Mariota does have 31 rushes for 185 yards and a touchdown on the year as well.

The Titans are bad in most offensive efficiency numbers and have failed weekly to create explosive plays as indicated by their 32nd ranking in big play rate this year (4%). I really like the Cowboys match-up on defense this week, and they should be able to hold the Titans down for most of the night.

Bend, Don't Break Defense

While their offense has been nearly league-worst for much of the year, the Titans defense stacks up pretty well with other defensive units around the league. Though they are just 21st in defensive DVOA, the Titans are 2nd in defensive big play rate (just 5.1%) and 3rd in standard down success rate (40.5%).

Where the numbers indicate the Titans fail is on third down, coming in at 24th in third down success rate in the league, and they are especially bad on third and medium.

While the Cowboys and Titans both come into their match-up at 3-4, I believe the Cowboys are the superior team. If they can play like they have in their three previous home games this season, they should even up their record at 4-4 on Monday night.

If they let the Titans hang around too long, however, we could see them snatch the game at the end like they did against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.


Game Notes

DAL 37, PHI 10: Cowboys Correct Course by Crushing Eagles

Jess Haynie



Randall Cobb, Eagles
AP Photo/Ron Jenkins

The Dallas Cowboys will need plenty more games like this one to undo some of the damage from their recent three-game losing streak. But with a 37-10 rout of the division rival Philadelphia Eagles tonight, Dallas took a big step toward redemption and restoring order in their season.

The game got ugly in a hurry for the Eagles, who fumbled on their first two possessions and set the Cowboys up for touchdowns on each. Philadelphia would answer with a score on their next drive to make it 14-7, but it was all Dallas from there.

It was a joint effort from all parts of the Cowboys roster tonight. Ezekiel Elliott had 111 yards rushing and another 36 receiving, plus one touchdown on the ground. Dak Prescott threw for 239 yards and one score and ran for another touchdown.

Dallas' defense limited Philadelphia to just 283 total yards. DeMarcus Lawrence, Robert Quinn, and Jourdan Lewis each recorded sacks while Xavier Woods had a rare interception for the Cowboys secondary.

Even special teams contributed; Brett Maher nailed a 63-yard field goal to end the first half and made his two other FG attempts as well.

The Eagles were missing several key players on both sides of the ball, giving them a bit of an excuse for how lopsided this game got. But with Dallas now getting bye week rest while Philadelphia has to stay on the road in Buffalo, is this the beginning of the end for the Eagles' season?

Other Notes

  • Amari Cooper led the receivers tonight with 106 yards on five catches. He did not appear to be hampered by any injury despite our worries earlier in the week.
  • Maher's 63-yard field goal put him in the NFL record books as the only kicker to ever hit three career FGs from 60 or more.
  • Prescott's 21st career rushing touchdown broke Roger Staubach's record for most all-time rushing TDs by a Cowboys quarterback.
  • Some negative injury news coming out of the game; Leighton Vander Esch (neck) and Robert Quinn (ribs) both had to leave and didn't return. No word yet on severity for either, but hopefully the bye week is all they need to recover.
  • Jeff Heath was also shaken up toward the end of the game but appeared to be okay on the sideline.
  • No injury setbacks for any of the Cowboys' previously concerning players. Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb, Tyron Smith, and La'el Collins all made it through without incident.
  • Dallas now gets a long rest with the bye week and their next game not coming until Monday, Nov. 4th, against the New York Giants. While the Cowboys are healing up, the Giants will be traveling to Detroit next Sunday.

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Game Notes

DAL 27, PHI 7: Cowboys Winning Every Phase, Build Big Halftime Lead

Jess Haynie



Report: Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott Agree in Principle on Contract Extension

The Dallas Cowboys certainly heard about Doug Pederson's win guarantee, but did anyone tell Pederson's team? The Philadelphia Eagles have fumbled and flopped their way into a 24-7 halftime deficit in this pivotal Week 7 rivalry game.

Two early fumbles by Dallas Goedert and Carson Wentz helped set up the Cowboys for short fields and touchdowns. Dallas has scored points on all but one of their drives in the first half.

Ezekiel Elliott is on pace for his best game of 2019 so far. He has 65 rushing yards and another 25 through the air, with one touchdown coming on the ground.

Dak Prescott has been sharp with 161 passing yards on 15-of-20 passing. He connected with Blake Jarwin on the team's second touchdown of the night.

Dallas' other touchdown came on a pretty toss play to Tavon Austin, who used his athletic skills to juke one Eagle and then outrace the rest to the endzone.

Brett Maher finished the half with an amazing 63-yard field goal. He also made one from 26 yards earlier.

Standouts on defense so far include DeMarcus Lawrence, who is playing up to his verbal response to the Eagles' head coach earlier this week. We've also some big plays from Maliek Collins, Jourdan Lewis, and Robert Quinn.

Leighton Vander Esch had to leave the game with a neck injury and is questionable to return. Hopefully, the Cowboys won't need him.

Great start by the good guys! Let's keep it going!

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Game Notes

Eagles @ Cowboys 2019: Gameday Inactives for Both Teams

Jess Haynie



Seldom-Used CB Jourdan Lewis Could Play Big Role Against Saints

Kickoff between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles in Week 7 of the 2019 season is almost upon us. The teams have now officially declared their inactive players for tonight, and the Cowboys' list comes with many sighs of relief.

After a week of worrying that several starters and other key players could miss this pivotal game, Dallas should have most of them on hand.

David Helman on Twitter

Cowboys inactives: Devin Smith, Anthony Brown, Luke Gifford, Adam Redmond, Brandon Knight, Justin Hamilton, Dorance Armstrong.

Losing Anthony Brown, who is essentially a starter as the nickel corner, isn't great. But it will mean more playing time for Jourdan Lewis, and to some that could be a blessing in disguise.

Not on this list are Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb, Tyron Smith, La'el Collins, and Byron Jones, all of whom had concerns earlier in the week about their availability to play.

As for Philadelphia, their inactive list features several key names

Jeff McLane on Twitter

Ronald Darby is active for the #Eagles. Rookie Shareef Miller active for the first time. The inactives for tonight's game against the Cowboys: DeSean Jackson, Avonte Maddox, Darren Sproles, Nigel Bradham, Nate Herbig, Jason Peters, Tim Jernigan.

You can read more analysis of the Eagles' missing players here. But just to summarize, that's two offensive starters(Jackson, Peters) and three from the defense (Jernigan, Bradham, Maddox) who won't be playing in Dallas tonight.

Will these injuries decide the game? Will Dallas take advantage or will Philly overcome?

We're about to find out!

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